How to Become a British Citizen by Marriage

By Jackie Whalen
a British Citizen
marriage image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Becoming naturalized as a British citizen means being able to fully participate in the social, political and economic processes of the United Kingdom. Marriage to a British citizen does not automatically qualify you as a British citizen. You must satisfy the requirements listed under the British Nationality Act of 1981. By doing this, you declare your loyalty to the United Kingdom and to Her Majesty the Queen.

Fill out Form AN. You can download Form AN from the United Kingdom Border Agency website.

Pass the Life in the UK test. Two requirements to becoming a British citizen are proving that you know what life is like in the United Kingdom and being able to communicate in English. If you already speak English, one way to meet these requirements is to take and pass the Life in the UK test given at local Life in the UK test centers. If English is your second language, you need to complete an English as a Second Language with Citizenship course of study.

Gather supporting documentation. You will need your passport or birth certificate, your spouse's passport or birth certificate, marriage certificate, Life in the UK or ESOL test results, and proof that you have lived in the United Kingdom for the past three years.

Submit application and supporting documentation. The Nationality Checking Service can submit your application for you and make sure it is done correctly. A local NCS office can be found on the UK Border Agency website.

You can also utilize the services of an agent or representative to submit your application. Be sure that the agent is registered with The Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner.

You can also apply directly to the UK Border Agency.

If you are currently in England, Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, submit your application, 735£ filing fee and supporting documents to: UK Border Agency Department 1 PO Box 306 Liverpool L2 OQN

If you are currently in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man, submit your application, 735£ filing fee and supporting documents to the Lieutenant Governor.

If you are currently in a British territory overseas, submit your application, 735£ filing fee and supporting documents to the Governor.

If you are not currently in one of the above locations, submit your application, 735£ filing fee and supporting documents to the nearest British Consulate, Embassy, or High Commissioner.

Attend Citizenship Ceremony. If your British citizenship is approved, you will be required to attend a ceremony in which you affirm your oath to Her Majesty the Queen and declare your loyalty to the United Kingdom. You will receive a Certificate of Naturalization after the ceremony. Congratulations!

About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.